It was announced this morning that the Walt Disney Company purchased Marvel comics for $4 billion dollars. Disney now owns the rights to over 5,000 Marvel characters, including much-loved characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Wolverine.
I’m not sure what this is going to mean for the two companies and their characters, but so far I’m excited about this buyout. I’ve been a big fan of Disney for almost my entire life, making my first trip to Walt Disney World when I was 4 years old and having gone back nearly once every year since. I watched Disney cartoons almost exclusively growing up, not because they were all that were available to me, but because I simply liked them more. My father even works for Disney part-time now that he’s retired.
As for comics, I’m a relative newcomer to the medium, only considering myself a regular reader for the past couple years. While I do read comics from several publishers, the vast majority of my comics are Marvel. Marvel’s characters are the ones I find the most interesting and their events are the ones that I find the most entertaining. While the comics world may be filled with people and events that can’t possibly be real, it’s Marvel’s ability to make them feel real that impresses me and draws me to their books. To sum up it all up, Disney and Marvel coming together is the corporate business version of two good friends finding love and getting married.
For the most part, I don’t expect much, if anything, to change for the weekly comics that Marvel publishes. I think the most change will come to other aspects of the business. For example, I can see Marvel characters showing up as cameos in Disney movies and video games. One place where I personally hope the Marvel characters show up in the Disney world is literally at Disney World. Right now, the theme parks of Universal Studios have the rights to have rides and attractions based on Marvel characters. I can’t see that arrangement lasting much longer with Universal Studios being Disney’s largest competitor in the theme park business.
Brian Lynch is a comic book writer who doesn’t write for Marvel comics, but is making many comments about the Marvel-Disney news on his Twitter account today. Here’s a few of his funnier ones. If you are a Twitter user and you find these amusing, please follow him @BrianLynch
* Donald Duck and Howard the Duck just met at Chateau Marmont to work some shit out.
* Only thing stronger than adamantium? Love.
* Mary Poppins? Mutant.
* First Disney/Marvel collaboration: Hannah Montana refuses to reveal secret identity, goes to war with Iron Man. Iron Man wins easily.
* Disney just read a FANTASTIC FOUR comic while watching THE INCREDIBLES and decided to sue itself.
* Disney’s first change for Marvel: When Bruce Banner gets angry, less hulking out, more breaking into song.